Nunavut gets new supply of TB vaccine
Babies receiving BCG vaccine from Japan after months of shortage
Babies in Nunavut are once again being vaccinated against dangerous forms of tuberculosis after a new supply of the vaccine arrived from Japan.
Dr. Maureen Baikie, Nunavut’s chief medical officer of health, said the territory received a supply of the BCG vaccine on Oct. 31 and started using it recently.
Nunavut is the only Canadian jurisdiction where the BCG vaccine is routinely given to babies because of the high rate of tuberculosis in the territory. Nunavut's TB rate is about 75 times the national average, according to the Canadian Medical Association. The vaccine protects against serious forms of TB for two years.
The vaccine had been unavailable since June when Canadian manufacturer Sanofi-Pasteur recalled it over safety concerns.
Baikie said the territory ordered about 5,000 doses of the vaccine from a Japanese manufacturer and nurses started using it in mid-November, after more training
Baikie said Nunavut will be able to use the Japanese supplier until Sanofi-Pasteur starts manufacturing again later this year.
There were 79 active cases of TB in the territory last year, compared to 75 in 2011, but that is still down from the 101 cases recorded in 2010.
Baikie said the territory has a TB program that includes contact tracing and case management.